Wrestling: Slinger’s Caleb Ziebell second at state individual meet
By Thomas J.McKillen
Slinger’s Caleb Ziebell recorded the best finish among area wrestlers at the WIAA Individual Wrestling Tournament held at the UW-Kohl Center March 22-4, reaching the title match in the Division I 138-pound weight class before losing to Mason Phillips of Eau Claire North, 7-3.
“Caleb did a nice job. It was a close match,” Slinger Coach Chris Graziano said afterward.
Ziebell got on the board first in the championship match with a takedown with 51 seconds left in the first period. Phillips tied the score with a turnaround early in the second period. Ziebell took a 3-2 lead on an escape with 1:29 remaining in the third period but Phillips answered with a takedown and near fall with just under a minute left in the round.
Phillips was the top ranked wrestler in the Division I 138 weight class in the last WI Wrestling poll released before the postseason while Ziebell was ranked fourth.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match but I knew it was going to be close. Just based on their matches before it was really close. I was just hoping Caleb would pull it off this time, I knew he was capable of it, but I also knew the other guy was capable of it, too,” Graziano said.
Graziano then added: “Caleb is a great kid. He works really hard, he’s done a lot to get himself this far. Second in the state is nothing to be feel bad about.”
Ziebell said he and Phillips both have offense-oriented styles, which has resulted in low-scoring matches.
“It came down to one move deciding the match and it wasn’t in my favor,” Ziebell said.
This was Ziebell’s fourth year at the state meet. He said the past experiences at state said he knew what to expect with the experience.
“Being here the past three years, I didn’t have any nerves or butterflies going into the final match,” Ziebell said.
Ziebell finished the year with a 51-6 record. Ziebell started the tournament with a technical fall over David Holzem of Brookfield East and followed that with a 9-6 decision over Marshall Rushton of West Allis. In the semifinal, Ziebell scored a 3-2 decision over Wyler Lubeck of Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.
Slinger’s Charlie Covert finished sixth at state, winning his opening match with pin over Isaac Klarkowski of Green Bay. He lost in the quarterfinal but scored two consolation round wins before finishing with two losses.
Hartford’s Jalen Spuhler finished fourth in the Division I 120 weight class. Spuhler advanced to the semifinal before losing Hunter Lewis of Stoughton, 14-2. He then split his next two matches.
Cayden Henschel of West Bend East finished with in the Division I 120 weight class. He started the tournament with a technical fall before being pinned in the quarterfinal. He then won three of his next four matches to secure fifth place.